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FOOTBALL: Special teams key in BSU win over Wayne State

WAYNE, Neb. -- The special teams unit came through for the Bemidji State football team in its 27-10 victory over Wayne State Saturday afternoon in Wayne, Neb.

Defensive back Gunner Olszewski racked up 100 return yards for the Beavers, and helped produce the highlight of the day on a 94-yard punt return for a touchdown. The senior pitched the ball to junior defensive back Michael Junker, who rumbled 56 more yards to the house.

Olszewski, BSU’s all-time leader in solo tackles, added three more to his career stats to go with three pass break ups.

The win moves the Beavers to 4-1 overall following their first of four games against Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference South Division opponents.

The “Gang Green” defense forced the Wildcats (1-4, 1-3 NSIC South) to a three-and-out first possession.

A three-yard WSC punt set the Beavers up with good field position for their first drive of the game.

Freshman quarterback Alec Ogden scrambled for 23 yards before handing the ball off to senior running back Andrew Lackowski on three straight carries, punching in the last for a one-yard touchdown.

The BSU offense was held scoreless the rest of the first half, but the defense conceded only a 27-yard field goal as the visitors went to the locker room at halftime up 7-3.

The Wildcats also missed a 37-yard field goal attempt as they were forced to punt on five of seven first-half drives.

The offense began to come to life early in the second half.

Junior quarterback Jared Henning ran three yards for a touchdown that was the culmination of an eight-play, 28-yard drive to open the third quarter. Olszewski returned the kickoff 64 yards to set up BSU deep in WSC territory.

Almost six minutes later, Olszewski fielded the longest punt return of the day from the six yard line, running 36 yards before pitching the ball to Junker who dashed the final 56 yards for the touchdown.

Lackowski rushed for his second one-yard score of the game in the fourth quarter as the team sailed to its first win of NSIC interdivision play.

Lackowski rushed for a team-high 93 rushing yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns. Freshman running back Jalen Frye ran for 40 yards on nine carries.

Ogden started at quarterback and rushed for 19 yards on five attempts, while going 0-for-3 through the air. Henning rushed for 63 yards on 12 attempts and a touchdown, and went 7-for-10 passing with 45 yards.

Senior safety John Vogeler led the BSU defense with five tackles, while senior defensive end Alex Hoffman recorded four tackles, two tackles for a loss and one sack.

Bemidji State will celebrate Homecoming Saturday, Oct. 6, with a matchup against Sioux Falls at Chet Anderson Stadium. The Beavers and Cougars will meet for just the sixth time ever and third in Bemidji, as BSU looks to win its ninth straight Homecoming game.

Bemidji State 27, Wayne State 10

BSU 7 0 13 7 -- 27

WSC 0 3 0 7 -- 10

First Quarter

BSU-13:04, Lackowski 1 yd run (Aanerud extra point).

Second Quarter

WSC-9:08, Knudson 27 yd field goal.

Third Quarter

BSU-12:40, Henning 3 yd run (2-point conv. failed).

BSU-6:00, Junker 56 yd punt return (Aanerud extra point).

Fourth Quarter

BSU-11:16, Lackowski 1 yd run (Aanerud extra point).

WSC-4:20, Warren 12 yd run (Knudson extra point).

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